The 'O' word

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 12 February 2011

Thank you all for your comments about the 'O' word.

I have been giving it a lot of thought.

I am like a reformed smoker who can smell smoke three streets away. Because I was so huge - not pleasingly plump, or mildly chunky, because I was SO huge and in big, fat denial, I now have that awful sanctimonious, holier than though smugness that all reformed sinners have.

When I was attacked for being fat, which I was from LWT to the BBC from magazines to proper newspapers, I know what its like to be at the receiving end of fattist barbs. I know what it's like to pretend to be happy in your ever increasing skin; I know what it feels like to be the one pointed at, talked about and used as the jolly japer at the end of the table.

I do know what its like to eat secretly, to cover up embarrassment with baggy sweaters and even bigger buns.

Only this week I have been pouring in the calories to fill the hole concerning my mother. That great big, gaping, hole that required filling. Comfort eating the like of which I haven't done for months and months. Biscuits, chips and cheese, chocolate, crisps and coffee. That huge emotional cavern devoured more in one sitting than a whole Battallian of Gherkins - sorry Ghurkas.

And because I know what its like to wear the face of a clown and the smile of the defeated my use of the 'O' word was used merely in a descriptive sense.

I never have the intention of upsetting people but I will call it as it is. Being morbidly obese is rotten. Being obese is horrible. Being fat, being overweight, being skinny, thin, anorexic, you name it, the body fascists have us in their vice-like hold. But whilst I have begun to loosen their grip, it's less about them and more about me. It's my time for health and waistlines. And whilst it's liberating I still have all those pernicious thoughts and old habits lurking inside of me like an insidious tape worm.

Remember, as they say in the twelve step plan, Trying is Lying, I cannot try not to eat another doughnut I just have to say NO, possibly the heaviest word in my world.

So if my nurse is reading this I sympathise. The only way out is to look at yourself squarely in the face and speak the truth. If smoking causes cancer, obesity causes diabetes and Gawd knows what. It's not about looking good in a swimsuit its about looking good in your birthday suit so that you actually reach your next anniversary.

That's enough from me now lets put an end to my contribution but thank you all for yours.

Oh btw I have been 'nice' to the doctors and nurses, although I was prepared to turn into a screaming banshee if I had needed to be. I'm not a mummy's girl but as the girl of my mummy I will fight for her the way she fought for me.

There we are. I am preparing lunch for six tomorrow, which will be partaken after the show.

If you can join me - 9 till 12.00 on 94.9 - that would be lovely. I have everything from Irish comedians to Hollywierd Psychics.

if you fancy it give us a bell and talk to me.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At February 12, 2011 5:01 PM Lindy Fleetwood wrote:

Lunch for six how wonderful, I hope the sun shines through your windows. Today I have been baking, firstly a vanilla sponge filled with cream and jam and some cheese straws for a friend in need. Then a chocolate sponge for us....got as far as moving the goo from the machine to the baking tins and realised I had not put the sugar in !! what a mess I made putting it all back in the mixer but it came out looking great. Tomorrows show cannot wait. Love to all xxhugxx

2. At February 12, 2011 9:18 PM Glenn wrote:

Hi Jeni,
I'm on route to Australia at the mo, but wanted to quickly say I sympathise with your situation. I had it 3 years ago with my mother - combined with the tyranny of the 23 hour flight - which I'm about to endure again.
Love to you, my dear. Stay strong - as if you have a choice.
I think you can be very proud of yourself. And I'm certain your dear mother is too!
Glenn

3. At February 13, 2011 12:49 AM LV wrote:

THAT's why i like the radio. There are no distractions, like the hair, make-up, clothes, sizes and 'seriously misbehaving rugs.' I've seen a few of those! I don't know why men do it, they look so much better without them.
Yes, the radio gives the all revealing voice a platform and you can focus on the human being, the person.

Hollyweird Psychic.......i hope that means your talking to the lovely Christian Dion on your show.....
Love and Light, LV
...

4. At February 13, 2011 11:02 AM Lyn Misselbrook wrote:

Love the new photo! L x

5. At February 13, 2011 2:13 PM Joanna wrote:

I know I ... " told you off " ... regarding the obese nurse comment. I do understand your reasons because unfortunately our current society is obsessed with every individuals human presentation. However because I worked in the NHS system for my famous 27 years I have developed a protective barrier towards all nursing staff working within the NHS.

So pleased when I listened to your show this morning that you included a section regarding the help available for gay people and their individual way/reasons for " coming out."

Thanks Jeni.

6. At February 13, 2011 7:27 PM Dorothy wrote:

Dear Jeni,
Impossible to write in a honest way when so many people are so sensitive. I understand it is so difficult but you must write how it is otherwise why bother.
You do look slimmer than before. Hope it stays off.
Love
Dorothy x

7. At February 14, 2011 1:27 AM Terry wrote:

Dear Jeni. Once again it was wonderfull to hear your voice on the radio sunday morning!! Yes Yes!! I hear all your faithful listeners and bloggers reply in unison!
If only you really knew how much warmth we get from you Jeni each time we hear you!
It makes us relax and feel that life is good. you have been asking on your blog about obease people! and to me it seems that so many people are not happy to be obease or be with obease people! I like a person for whoom they are not worrying about there size. i have lived in Los Angeles and london and often visit My cousin Victor who lives in the Colony at Malibu and when im in Hollywood or Beverley Hills it seems everyone is doing everything to get thin like its an obsession that they may be good enough to get noticed by a movie director whilst shopping in Rodeo Drive or sitting outside a beachfront cafe or bar at Venice beach! Everyone seems the same there all trying to work out to get the perfect body and i know many who spend so much time at the Gym that i wonder how they actually get any social life at all! And LA is not a 24 hour City like New York. The Angelenos go to bed early to get there beauty sleep and dream how perfect it would be in Tinseltown if they could ony be Drop Dead Gorgeous! Ha Ha! Jeni I think you are already perfect and i love the New Photo on your Blog. Have a Great Week and Love to You and the family and your faithful Army Of Bloggers> Love Terry XXXXXXXXXXXX

8. At February 16, 2011 12:40 AM maureen O'Loghlen-Kidd wrote:

Hi Jeni,

It's great to hear you again on BBC. I wondered what you were doing now. Your life is always so full. Just where do you get all your vitality from?

As I'm in Perth, Western Australia, I get to hear your show in the early evening on Sundays. One of your correspondents wrote from America and said they watch a BBC programme on iPlayer. If she's reading this, would she let me know how she does this because BBC do not allow me to 'watch' any of the visual programmes - just to listen to the radio stations.

You're doing well, Jeni. Keep it up. BTW, regarding your audiobook; is it all about cooking? (I hate cooking)

God bless, Maureen xx

9. At February 16, 2011 8:17 AM Dymphna wrote:

Hi Jeni,
Hope you are ok. Great to listen in to you on a Sunday; it really is food for the soul. I know you are going through a painful period in your life and just wanted you to know you are genuinely thought about and loved. Keep strong. x
Dymphna

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